Woo kok is a classic Cantonese dim sum dish which is favorited by many. Mashed Taro is formed into ovals and stuffed with meat & veggie and deep-fried and formed that crusty layer on the outside. No shortening is used in this recipe but still with that amazing crispy crust.
I never know a weather can affect my mood so much. Perhaps it’s the darkness that has set in as early as 5 pm for the past 4 months and the bitter cold (like literally!!!). Now I look at the clock and it’s still pretty bright out at 5:30 pm. Which means FOUR things to me. One: There’s light at the end of the tunnel (We’re almost done with Winter (fingers crossed!)). Two: Spring is coming. Despite the rain, I really don’t mind it! Three: Longer day light means I have longer access to natural light for my photo shoot. Four: I have unlimited access to leaves and flowers (as props for my photo shoot) from our front yard. Just the thought of these are enough to lift up my mood.
The things that I want to do with the kids outdoor this Summer are just piling up. It’s funny that they drive me nuts when the schools are out and they are at home with me. But when the schools are in sessions, I wish I have more time to do things with them. I actually miss them. Crazy! I think they call that human nature! or maybe they call that being a mom.
Anyway, I’m sharing with you all my kids’ favorites (our favorites too!). Taro puff or known as woo kok in Cantonese language is one of my very favorite dim sum items to order whenever we go for a dim sum. I’ve always had soft spots for taro to begin with (or anything with high carbs lol). Making your own taro puff wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be. It’s pretty straight forward as a matter of fact. It is made of mashed taro or Asian yam. Taro is lightly purple in color with some dark spots all over. The filling is made of minced pork (or substitute with your choice of meat) and some people put green peas.
I’m happy with the result and even happier when I bite into the crispy outside and the soft and savory filling. It is to die for !!! I used coconut oil instead of shortening. Result is still amazing but without the horrible shortening!
Woo Kok (Fried Taro Puff)
For the dough:
- 1 kg of mashed taro/Asian yam get the one already peeled for you if available
- 130 gr Wheat starch only available at Asian grocery store
- 1 Tbsp of sugar
- 180 ml water
- 200 gr coconut oil in solid state
- 6 oz lean ground pork
- 2 dried shiitake mushrooms soaked, cut off stems and finely diced
- 1/4 cup of diced onion
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 Tbsp of oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp of cooking oil
- Oil for deep frying
Prepare a day before if possible:
Preheat some oil in a skillet. Add in the onion and saute until soft and fragrant. Add in the pork and mushrooms and stir fry again until the pork turn color. Add in the sesame oil, sugar, and oyster sauce. Have a taste and adjust to your liking. Sprinkle in the corn starch. Turn off the heat. Set aside to cool down and pop into refrigerator until the next day if you prepare ahead or let it cool down completely before wrapping if you prepare on the same day
Preparing the dough:
If you get the taro already peeled, then all you need to do is to cut it into smaller chunks and steam on high heat until you can easily poke them with a fork, about 15 minutes. Otherwise, peel the skin of taro and proceed as mentioned above. Mash the taro while still warm
Add in wheat starch, sugar, water, and coconut oil into the mashed yam.. The dough will still be somewhat sticky and very soft at this point. Cover with plastic wrap and pop it into the refrigerator and let it rest for about 1 hour
The dough should be soft and pliable now. Divide it into half and then half again until you get about 20 small dough, or more if you want them smaller. Work with one at a time and keep the rest cover to prevent it from drying. Flatten the dough with your palm to form a round shape. Spoon about 1/2-1 Tbsp of filling into the middle and then gather the edge and roll into an oval shape. Continue with the rest
Preheat some oil for deep-frying. I suggest to fry it one at a time. I find that the crispy layer will "disperse" all over during the frying process if I don't hold the yam puff in place with metal slotted spoon. Once the oil is really hot, lower it to medium and then deep-fry the puff one at a time on a slotted spoon until they are golden brown. Place on absorbent paper towel and serve immediately
Recipe NotesIf you ever wonder if the puffs taste like coconut, no they do not. The coconut oil does not overpower the puff at all and yet it still gives you that flaky crispy crust like when you use shortening
I reheat them by placing it in the air fryer at 400 F for 5 to 10 minutes and they are as crispy as ever!
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